The so-called ‘Bishop of Bling’ has been banished from his diocese, following scandal over the high cost of his residence.
Pope Francis ordered Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst to leave his diocese in Limburg for an unspecified period of time, in a move just short of a resignation.
The bishop reportedly spent 31 million euros on a residence, including a 2.9 million euro private chapel and a 15,000 euro free-standing bath.
In the bishop’s absence, the diocese will be administered by a vicar.
The issue will doubtless cause embarrassment to the Pope, who has been preaching frugality since he took office in March.
A Vatican statement simply said the bishop “was currently not in a position to carry out his episcopal ministry,” and was ordered to leave.
The disgraced bishop has been accused of lying under oath about his spending, leading to an investigation and audit into cost overruns.